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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman
For: Red Rock News
Date: July 29, 2011

Upcoming Event: Friday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m. Experience the VERDE RIVER EXHIBIT and a reading by Thomas Lowe Fleischner from his new book "The Way of Natural History". Throughout this provocative and uplifting book, writers describe their various experiences in nature and portray how careful and mindful attention to the larger world around us brings rewarding and surprising discoveries.

Year of Change for Sedona Public Library

Sedona Public Library, a non-profit corporation providing library services to the community, has experienced another year of growth and change.  During the last fiscal year (June 2010 through May 2011) we moved our Village of Oak Creek operation to a new and bigger location in Tequa Plaza; along with other libraries in the Yavapai Library Network we migrated to new software for circulation staff and a new catalog for the public; we moved forward with e-book purchases.               

The library remains relevant by providing new and innovative services and programs.  We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  Try out our new online subscription to e-books for kids by visiting our website ( and clicking on TumbleBook Library.
Our primary service continues to be that of a traditional library – we check out books, movies and audio books.  In fiscal year 2011 we checked out 220,759 items, up 7% from last year.  The library is not just a place to pick up and check out materials; people still flock to the library to read the daily newspaper, the latest issue of a magazine, and use financial or other reference material.  

Between the main library and the Village location we borrowed 25,127 items from the Yavapai Library Network for our patrons to check out.  We loaned 24,230 items to libraries throughout Yavapai County for their patrons. 

We counted 195,258 people coming through our doors during library hours.  This is down slightly from last year.  This decrease is most likely the result of reduced services in June during our migration project. The steady traffic count indicates that the library continues to serve as a source of reading materials, programs, and as a community center.

We issued 1,534 new library cards and the previous year we issued 1,550 new cards.  In order to prepare for the migration we purged many out-of-date cards from the database. 

Computer sessions increased from 46,700 to 47,211.  Computers were used by people who don’t own computers and depend on the library for daily or weekly use and by people who do own computers, but might turn to the library when their printer dies or is out of ink or their hard drive crashes.  People who own laptops also come in to use our free WiFi service.

Last year 25% of our computer users were visitors who used our computers for checking e-mail, printing out boarding passes or searching the Internet.   Our children’s computers were used by school children for Internet searches as well as preschoolers for the educational games we offer in English and Spanish.

615 programs were offered by the library, and attendance at them was 11,092, up from last year’s attendance of 10,500.  Our biggest audiences were for the summer reading program, concerts offered through a partnership with Chamber Music Sedona, and visits from the Red Rock High School freshman class.  Our partnership with the volunteer AARP tax service helped to process approximately 500 tax returns. 

We continued to serve the Latino community with computer literacy classes in Spanish and bilingual story times.  We offered family-oriented programs, such as the Latin American Independence Day Celebration, which attracted over 100 people and included a mariachi band and food donated by local restaurants.   English as a Second Language classes were initiated.

The library’s meeting rooms were used by 30 other non-profit groups on a regular basis, by commercial groups, by the City of Sedona and by the Census Bureau. 

Statistics for Sedona Public Library in the Village show an increase in most areas.  Our new location with almost double the amount of space has resulted in an increase in traffic.  The monthly traffic count since our move (from February through May) showed a 33% increase.  The number of new cards issued went up from 81 in FY 2010 to 110 in FY 2011. The number of people attending programs in the Village of Oak Creek increased from 337 to 782.  This is mainly due to the Love-Your-Library Open House, which attracted approximately 400 people and the first Artist Reception, which had an attendance of about 80. 

In addition to implementing new services, Sedona Public Library strengthened ongoing services in FY 2011.  Staff, board members and volunteers continue to bring new ideas to our operation and attract new audiences.  Volunteers contributed over 19,000 hours of service to the library last year. Through the involvement and commitment of our community, Sedona Public Library continues to be a successful private/public collaboration and there’s no indication that this will change in the near future.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Virginia Volkman is Director of Sedona Public Library.